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IN THE PRESS

An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2010-11-29

“Authoritarian, wild, flabby..." How America sees world leaders

In today’s international press review, we take a look at how the press covered the world wide “diplomatic crisis”. Wikileaks revealed 250,000 top secret documents, exposing the United States’ view of the world. American diplomats allegedly criticized several heads of state in memos. Washington is also thought to have asked diplomats to spy on members of the United Nations.

 

Five different newspapers printed the files simultaneously.
 
The press was extremely careful in publishing those top secret embassy cables, evoking freedom of expression and public interest. Around 120 journalists have been working on the classified documents for weeks, deciding on what to print and what sources to protect.
 
According to Le Monde, Bradley Manning is thought to be behind the leak although that information has not been officially confirmed. The 23 year old soldier is already accused of leaking documents about the Iraq war earlier this year.If found guilty, he could risk up to 52 years in prison.
 
On their front page, Der Spiegel and El Pais published photos of various world leaders with quotes from various memos. French president Nicolas Sarkozy is described as “authoritarian”, Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi is seen as “wild” and the North Korean dictator Kim Kong Il is seen as “a flabby old chap who suffers from physical and psychological trauma”.
 
The British royal family is also mentioned in the US files. The Daily Mail reports that Prince Andrew is thought to have shocked the Americans with his “rude behaviour abroad”.
 
Meanwhile, The Guardian focuses on spying allegations. US diplomats are accused of gathering detailed information on members of the United Nations, including Ban Ki-Moon.
 
And finally, the Daily Mail wonders if Washington tried to sabotage Wikileaks as the website crashed just hours before it was due to publish the files.

 

By Aurore Cloe DUPUIS

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